It happened because of the new Wisteria Odeon that opened up just a street away from Harry's school.
As a way to promote it, the manager programmed a high-success 'classic' trilogy and sent every pupil of the nearby school a free ticket to the first movie and a half-price discount for the second, hoping the children would push the parents into buying the full-priced ticket to the third part of the trilogy and – ideally – get in the habit of frequenting the cinema.
Since the whole class was going, teacher included, and it would have reflected badly on them to keep the boy from it, and since it was for free anyway, the Dursleys grudgingly allowed their ward to go.
Thus Harry Potter was introduced to the fascinating universe of Star Wars.
And realized, with the utter certainty that only eight year olds can have about life, that he was a Jedi.
The world unfolded in front of him in new and exciting colours, every detail rearranging into patterns of sense now that he had the key to understand– everything.
He felt as if he could suddenly see the Force swirling around and shaping his life, even if of course it was just his imagination because the Force is not to be seen but felt. Eyes can trick you after all, they are not to be trusted. But the Force was there, he had proof of it, and Harry had found his place in the world at last.
Now he needed to know more.
Getting to watch the other two movies was tricky, but Harry was determined and where there is a will there is a way.
Mrs. Figg, the old cat lady, was so delighted in having her lawn mowed that she didn't bat an eye when he asked for movie tickets rather than money and Uncle Vernon, deprived of the chance to seize the boy's pay, didn't protest Aunt Petunia's assessment that forbidding the boy from going would offend their elderly neighbour (a major no-no, no matter how batty she was).
Harry's smile was carefully reserved for the darkness of the cinema, but its invisibility didn't make it any less bright.
The complete Trilogy allowed him to reassess his initial perception.
He wasn't a Jedi after all. Jedi were trained, they had to learn how to use their powers and everything, and they only became Jedi Knights when their teachers judged them ready.
No, he was like Luke before Obi-Wan Kenobi started teaching, or like Leia: the Force ran strongly in him, but he didn't know how to use it. He could only do it accidentally, like the few times he'd made things move without touching them or that time he'd unconsciously used the Force to get himself on the school's roof: it hadn't been the wind after all.
This conclusion changed his life dramatically.
Finally, finally he knew the truth about himself, he had an explanation for his oddities, he wasn't a freak, he was just different because he was more in tune with the Force, he finally had found an explanation and a purpose, he was no longer frantic because it was alright to not be normal.
He was happy.
His agile childish mind rearranged his world around this new awareness, with surprising results.
Suddenly, his Aunt and Uncle's behaviour made much more sense.
Luke's Aunt and Uncle had lied to him too, they'd told him nothing of his mum and dad and they'd made him work in their farm and Uncle Owen had forbidden him to go places, because they wanted to protect him.
They didn't want him to become a Jedi, because it was dangerous, and they knew if they told him the truth he would want to go and maybe be hurt.
Logical conclusion was, Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon did love him and care for him, they were just mean so he wouldn't demand to go off learning how to be a Jedi, and maybe end up in a war or something and do dangerous stuff all the time.
This lifted his spirit a lot.
There was nothing wrong with him, they were just trying to protect him. They were probably terrified he would find out the truth and leave and do something foolish and that was why they punished him whenever he accidentally used the Force.
That made perfect sense.
As a consequence, Harry felt a great deal more affectionate towards them and smiled a lot more, even when they became apparently unreasonable. He also made an effort to keep every instance of Force-use to the minimum, and secret from them.
The Dursleys were bewildered, but mellowed out a bit towards him. Not much, but Harry understood now why they had to be strict.
He didn't want them to worry about him and tried to make sure they didn't have any reason to think he wanted to use his latent powers and become a Jedi.
Not that he had any intention of forsaking his gift, of course. But he knew it was too soon and he would have to learn a lot before becoming a Jedi. Maybe someone would come and teach him, he probably just had to wait. It shouldn't be long anyway, Master Yoda had said that Luke was 'too old' so it would likely be any year now.
And then he would learn how to do all those cool things and even get an awesome light-sabre and go around helping people with his Jedi power and maybe even save the world.
And then his relatives would stop worrying because they would see he could protect himself and they would be proud of what he was doing.
And all would be well.
In the meanwhile, he could start with a bit of the exercises Master Yoda had taught Luke, to help for when a Jedi Master would come and teach him properly.
A great help towards this goal came from Miss Susan, the teacher that had accompanied his class to the movies.
She had not been happy with Harry before, because of how he performed poorly in class, but when she noticed how interested he was in Star Wars and how, when she'd given them a math problem starring Jedi Knights and Star Troopers rather than the usual mums and children or shop-assistants, he'd perked up and solved it even though it was more difficult that the ones he usually managed… she decided she'd found a way to the heart of her pupil and that his passion should be encouraged.
She felt great satisfaction when, after letting him borrow a few West End Games materials on the expanded universe she had at home, she saw a child who'd barely managed to learn how to read eagerly devouring book after book and almost without noticing expanding his vocabulary astronomically. Yes, she'd done her duty as a teacher with this one.
Harry for his part was ecstatic.
He wondered if Miss Susan had guessed his secret, because she was giving him just the right books for his secret Force-use training.
He now had the proper terms to describe what he was: he was a Force-sensitive and perhaps even an Initiate, and one day he would become a Padawan of some great Jedi Master, and then a Knight and then perhaps a Master himself.
He was a bit worried that he hadn't been taken to a Jedi Academy yet, but all he could do was wait for a Master to choose him as Padawan and in the meanwhile, he reasoned he should start from the beginning; so he did, learning some sort of meditation because one of his book had a quote from a Jedi Master that said that "an initiate would begin by spending a great deal of time in contemplation, learning to open himself to the Force."
Of course, being eight years old, the whole 'deeper state of relaxation or awareness for enhancing emotional control over self and for better connection to the Force' was not only beyond his understanding, but also beyond his skill because despite the long-standing practice of being confined in a small, dark place he'd never truly learned to stay still in his cupboard and focusing single-mindedly on anything was out of the question.
Not to mention that he wanted to try all of the awesome variations like the Floating Meditation and the Healing Meditation and he wanted to now.
And of course, it wasn't working.
What did work, on the other hand, was the Moving Meditation, which was supposed to be a technique where one meditated while repairing or building mechanical devices but, as it turned out, worked just fine if Harry did it while cleaning or gardening.
Harry really felt that when he concentrated on the work he was doing exclusively, he truly went to the 'place where there was nothing else but peace' like he was supposed to: and if it puzzled Aunt Petunia that he was suddenly eager for chores, the upside was that it yielded true results.
He was now able to move things about with only a thought just like Luke! Not only that, but he could form a little ball of light in his hand for when he was locked in his cupboard!
He was really on the right path to become a Jedi.
Even if no Master had shown up yet.
One night as he was practicing stealth movements, he accidentally overheard his Aunt and Uncle talking of him.
"You know, Pet… there haven't been any funny business with the boy in ages now… maybe we managed to stamp that nonsense out of him after all. Might not go the same way of his good-for-nothing father after all…"
Aunt Petunia hummed in agreement: "We can only hope, Vernon…"
Harry silently retreated to his cupboard to think on this.
So. He'd been right. They were scared that he would become like his father. His good-for-nothing father.
He took a deep breath.
It looked more and more likely that the Force had run in his father as strongly as it did in him.
And… that his father had turned to the Dark Side.
There was no other explanation…
He clenched his fists.
He could understand his Aunt and Uncle's fears, yes. But he would prove them wrong. He would never turn to the Dark… he would become a great Jedi, one day.
Years went by, quicker than one would expect them to, and soon Harry was about to turn eleven. And weird things started happening without his input.
He wasn't all that interested, though. He had his training with Force-use to keep his attention, snakes that could unexpectedly speak weren't necessarily exciting. He was sure the Galaxy could offer even more thrilling things to meet.
Even less attention-grabbing were the weird-looking letters, at least at first.
However, as they kept coming and coming, making his Aunt and Uncle ever more nervous, he finally figured he should at least give them a once-over.
It was fairly easy to levitate one out of the many that were fluttering all over the sitting room that Sunday. He then retreated to the cupboard quietly, both to appease his Uncle and to get some privacy for his perusal.
He read, and snorted.
Magic? Yeah, right.
Of course, there were many strange and wondrous things in the Galaxy, this he knew. He also knew, however, that more often than not what the less advanced planets called 'magic' was either a natural phenomena or very advanced technology. Miss Susan had told him so, one day when they'd read a particularly fascinating story and he'd dared take part in the debate afterwards even if it wasn't smart to attract attention.
Whoever these people were, they were either trying to deceive him… or delusional.
What he didn't understand was why his Aunt and Uncle were so scared of them. Did they know these 'wizards'? Maybe they were dangerous. Maybe they were like those weirdos that the TV warned about, those mad, evil people that went around kidnapping girls and children and such to do horrible things that Aunt Petunia would send Dudley and him away for the description of.
Dangerous su-per-ti-li-cious. Yeah… that must be it.
He trashed the letter. His Aunt and Uncle would handle this: he'd heard his Uncle grumbling about going to the police already. He did not need to worry.
The letters stopped coming and Harry forgot the strange incident; until the day after his eleventh birthday, when a giant of a man turned up on the doorstep, stooping so that his head just brushed the top of the doorway. His face was almost completely hidden by a long, shaggy mane of hair and a wild, tangled beard, but you could make out his eyes, glinting like black beetles under all the hair, crinkled in a smile.
"Here ye are, Harry!" said the giant beaming. "Las' time I saw you, you was only a baby," said the giant. "Yeh look a lot like yer dad, but yeh've got yer mom's eyes."
Harry blinked his eyes, puzzled. "Do I know you, sir?"
"Ah, where are me manners!" chuckled the other. "Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts."
He held out an enormous hand and shook Harry's whole arm.
Harry's agile mind connected the dots, fast. Hogwarts was the place the supposed 'wizards' had written from: this man must be one of them; he had known Harry as a baby: presumably he had been friends with Harry's parents.
These were the people Aunt and Uncle were scared about, the people they were afraid he would follow, the people his father had followed.
They were here to lead him to the Dark Side!
"Uncle Vernon!" he cried immediately. The man barged out of the sitting room and, when he caught sight of the giant on his doorstep, inflated like a turkey.
"Uncle Vernon, this is one of them, the people who sent the letters!"
Vernon's face went through all shades of red and straight into puce.
"I demand that you leave at once! We swore when we took him in we'd put a stop to that rubbish! Swore we'd stamp it out of him! Wizard indeed!"
Harry wandered away into the back garden, nodding to himself. Yes, his assessment of the situation was correct. Luckily, Uncle Vernon seemed to be perfectly able to handle it. He could leave it to him, and concentrate on weeding instead. His Moving Meditation was coming along nicely and he was finally able to use it to heal up small scratches…
Perhaps not unexpectedly, the 'wizards' didn't simply give up. They must be really fond of their de-lu-vi-sions, thought Harry sagely, shaking his head with pity.
The very next day, three of them showed up and invaded their home, a tall, sallow man with greasy hair and resentment in his eyes, an even taller grandfatherly one with long white hair and beard and a strange twinkle behind his glasses, and a teary-eyed old lady with hair in a tight bun and a watery smile for Harry.
All of them were wearing robes that Harry eyed with distaste: they were nothing like the simple, practical Jedi robe, with all those colours and frills and stitched borders and were those moving planets on the oldest man's chest? They looked silly, even the all-black one that should have been sensible.
"Ah, Harry, my dear boy," started off the white-haired man as soon as he caught sight of him. "We are here to straighten out this little misunderstanding. Not to worry, my boy, you'll come with us to Hogwarts in no time."
Harry frowned, and noticed that the dark man looked less than pleased too, while the woman was shooting glares at Aunt and Uncle, who in turn looked frightened and furious.
"I beg your pardon, sir," he replied very clearly, "but I don't want to follow you, at this Hogwarts place or anywhere."
Everybody's eyes were suddenly on him, in varying degrees of shock.
Then Vernon grinned fiercely just as the old man recovered from his shock. "But of course you want to, my dear boy…"
Harry narrowed his eyes. He'd just told the man he didn't want to, did he expect him to change his mind on a whim? Then he stiffened. Was the old man trying to bend his mind through the Force, the way Obi-Wan did to those Troopers? Harry's eyes flashed dangerously.
"I imagine your relative might not have wanted you to know, but the fact is, my dear boy, that you are a wizard!" the white-haired man was beaming brilliantly.
Harry gave him a flat look. "No, I'm not," he said levelly.
The other clearly was thrown by this, but the old lady came to his rescue: "Now, now, Mr. Potter," she chuckled, "I know this is a bit of a shock, many Muggleborns don't believe they're magical at first, but I assure you, you are a wizard, and Hogwarts is the best place for you to learn how to use your power."
She was smiling kindly, but Harry didn't return it.
"Here, let me give you proof," she said gently, drawing out a long, thin wooden stick and waving it at the couch. Harry had no idea what that thing was, but he could feel the Force running powerfully in it and… the couch turned electric blue!
Unnerved by the display, Vernon blurted out: "Stop that this instant, you bloody freak! The boy doesn't want to go. We don't want him to go. Just leave us alone!"
All three 'wizards' shot him disgusted and quelling looks and he faltered. Not so Aunt Petunia, who had her eyes trained on Harry and advanced slowly towards him. "You… you don't want to go with them, Harry?" she asked softly.
Harry's eyes widened. She hardly ever used his given name. This must be really important.
He shook his head solemnly: "No, Aunt Petunia, I don't want to," he said firmly.
"Preposterous!" exploded the old lady. "You've brainwashed him. James and Lily's son not go to Hogwarts… load of codswallop!"
The white-haired man was peering at him with a displeased gaze, tinged with sadness and… guilt?
Then he murmured: "Alas, Minerva… I fear you're right. It was perhaps a mistake to leave young Harry here…"
The dark man snorted.
"…and now, I have no choice but to… correct my mistake…"
He took out another wooden stick, thicker and whiter then the lady's, and raised it. Harry still had no idea what it was, but the look in the old man's eyes… it frightened him. What was the man going to do? What did that mean, 'correct a mistake'?
The man pointed the Force-charged stick to Aunt Petunia and Harry stiffened in the sudden realization: the man was going to hurt his Aunt! He was going to hurt her to get to him, Harry! Just like the Troopers had killed Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen to get to Luke!
A wave of rage washed through him and he screamed, thrusting himself between the old man and his Aunt, his arms thrown wide in a protective gesture. "How dare you! How dare you! You… you Sith! I won't let you hurt her!"
The old man looked completely flabbergasted again, the lady gasped and pressed her hands to her mouth and the dark man seemed to be choking on disbelieving laughter.
Dudley, never one to realize when it was best for him to keep quiet and remain forgotten, reminded everybody of his presence by asking loudly: "What was that you called the weird guy?"
Unlike everybody else, Harry didn't spare a glance for his cousin. He kept his furious eyes trained on the dangerous stick. But he did explain in clipped tones: "A Sith, Dud. A Dark Lord."
Now the dark man did choke on laughter, while the lady cried in dismay. The old man looked stunned, hurt, disbelieving and very, very old.
"Harry, I am not a Dark Lord!" he protested feebly.
"You barge into my home to kidnap me! You threaten my family! You think you can do whatever you want just because you're you! And you were going to hurt my Aunt! That's all stuff that only those who choose the Dark Path do!"
The old man staggered, looking defeated.
The dark man cleared his throat, calling attention to himself. "Dumbledore, the brat has a point. You went about this the wrong way, clearly, and you're about to cross a line that would get you up on charges if Amelia Bones ever found out. The boy's guardians refuse to enrol him. Even if they're Muggles, they have this right. The only way you could interfere in their decision would be if the boy himself asked it, which he doesn't. Let's. Go."
Harry didn't understand much of the speech, but it seemed the dark man was on his side, now that he knew Harry didn't want to go with them. That was good. Hopefully he would convince the others to leave him alone.
"But, Severus, surely…"
"No, Minerva. We don't even have any right to be here!"
"Too right," muttered Uncle Vernon.
The old man had recovered, however, and while his face was etched with guilt and regret, he stepped up determinedly. "Alas, I cannot abide by this. Harry Potter must come to Hogwarts. Too much depends on him. It is regrettable, but I have no other choice… I am truly sorry, my boy," he said directly to Harry, "but one day you'll understand. It is for the Greater Good!"
He raised the stick again and Harry called the Force to him, raising his arms in denial and thrusting, all his being focused on one thought: "No! Be gone!"
At that very instant, his Aunt's hands gripped his shoulders, and Harry heard her shout "Don't touch my nephew!"
Amazingly, the contact between them seemed to strengthen the Force, and Harry could feel it flare all around them, not only in him, but around the very house, down to its foundation, strongly, beautifully.
In an instant, all three invaders were explosively ejected from the Dursleys' home.
In the long, ringing silence that followed, Harry saw from the open window that the old man tried to walk up to the house again and the Force blazed in a shield that pushed him back.
He looked completely gobsmacked while his two companions led him gently away.
Harry shuddered and felt his Aunt's arms close around him. "Now everything will be alright, won't it?" he asked in a trembling voice. He hated it, but the confrontation had shaken him badly.
"Yes, Harry. Everything's fine now." There was more warmth to her voice than Harry had ever heard directed at him.
"Muuum! I want ice-cream! Now!" whined Dudley, unhappy at being ignored.
Aunt Petunia turned to coo at him and Harry smiled. Things were back to normal.
And normal they stayed, or at least what passed for normal in a house where a Jedi-in-training was secretly continuing his exercises.
Many time those 'wizards' made attempt after attempt at contacting him again, but he simply ignored it. They would get tired sooner or later, right?
In the meanwhile, he went about his own business, doing chores, helping out the neighbours for a little money, progressing in his Meditation, even doing well on his studies at Stonewall High.
At the end of the year, however, he was more than worried. He was falling into a depression.
No one had come for him.
Was the Force not strong enough in him? But no, he could do so much already, even without formal training… surely at least one Master could have considered him as Padawan? He was a hard worker!
There was only one person he could turn to: Miss Susan.
Miss Susan had been the first to recognize him for what he was and to help him get information on Jedi training and such.
Maybe she was mildly Force-sensitive as well?
Surely she could help him. And she didn't live far, thankfully.
The poor teacher had a hard time refraining from laughing outright at her former pupil.
Where did the boy get such ideas? Jedi indeed!
But then she remembered that he was a difficult child, with a tragic past and having a hard time settling in with his adoptive family, as well as serious difficulties coping with school. His passion for Star Wars had been the thing that had helped him deal with his life and even achieve more and more positive results.
She couldn't crush his hopes. Who knows what damage that would do? She was no psychologist, she wasn't qualified to deal with this…
It was best to humour him, and signal his guardians that perhaps some professional help to deal with his delusions was in order.
Not that the Dursleys even considered it. The boy might have turned out better than they'd feared, mostly, but he was still an unwanted burden.
In the meanwhile, Miss Susan's answer had been a hard blow to Harry.
She'd pointed out, with the utmost gentleness, that the Jedi Order existed in the future.
In. The. Future!
Harry's mind was whirling.
The future. The books, the movies, they were from the future. Miss Susan was truly awesome. How had she got those books for him? How had she known what he needed?
The problem was, he was the only Force-sensitive around…
Or maybe not.
Those people from Hogwarts…
The trick with the colours might well have been a mind trick…
Maybe they were all potential Jedi, but misguided.
Misguided. That was it! The Jedi Order didn't exist yet, so there wasn't a Code, so anybody could persuade the Force-sensitive to his point of view, however ridiculous (magic, honestly!). Like a Sith Lord! He'd been right about that white-haired man!
And that was why his Aunt and Uncle were scared! They would probably have allowed him to become a proper Jedi, but they didn't want him to go off with those braggarts and mys-te-ri-fiers!
Well, that was understandable.
Harry didn't want to either.
His father probably had – maybe even his mother – that was why those 'wizards' were so surprised when he turned them down…
If Miss Susan hadn't shown him the Truth…
Then his thoughts came to a screeching halt when faced with a sudden idea.
An enormous, impulsive idea.
Glorious. Ambitious. Frightening.
If the Jedi Order was to exist in the future… someone had to found it.
Why not him?
Harry squared his shoulder, right there on the broken swings in the vandalized, small playground in a boring British suburb, daring to make the momentous decision.
He would be a Jedi.
He would be the first Jedi.
He would found the Jedi Order!
…And the world was never the same again.